Ceremonies By Cynthia

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Ceremonies by CynthiaThis is your wedding. Tell me what you want and we’ll make it happen.

1. Do you want to work together on your vows or will you each prepare your vows separately?

2. Will you show them to one-another and will you discuss them together before the ceremony?

3. Will there be elements/sentences of your vows that are the same for each of you? Remember, it is not necessary for you to make the same vows.

4. If you are particularly shy, you may wish to make simple vows to each other during the ceremony and prepare more personal private vows to exchange when you are alone.

5. Settle on a plan first. Will you speak about what attracted you to one another, then what you promise, then what you wish for your future together? Will your vows be humorous, traditional, poetic? It’s entirely up to you but I recommend you use terms and words you’re comfortable with so your vows ring true and sound genuine and heartfelt.

6. Read your vows out loud and time yourself. Be aware that a vow that takes one minute will seem like a long time during the service.

7. How do you choose what to say? Answer the following questions, then look over your answers and choose the phrases you like the most and you feel are saying what you intend in your vows. Then, from the new list of phrases you like, construct your vows.
• What did you think when you first saw her/him?
• When did you know he/she was “the one”?
• What made you sure?
• In what way has your life changed because you now have him/her in your life?
• What is different about you now? What’s different about him/her now?
• When you think of your fiancé, what’s the very first thing that comes to mind? If you had to describe your fiancé in only a couple of words, which words would you choose.
• What things do you have in common? In what way are you different? How do these things make your relationship stronger/better?
• When you’re apart, what do you miss the most? What do you look for as soon as you are together again?
• Do you know of a line from a poem or song that you feel sums up you, your fiancé and/or your relationship?
• Will you feel married if there are not some of the traditional vows? How much of the traditional vows or which traditional vows do you want to include? Do you like the traditional manner eg For richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health? Or do you like the sentiment but prefer more modern language eg All that I have and all I will ever have I give to you; in good times and in hard times.
• Do you already have a shared history? Has there been an event or an experience that you have shared that has impacted your relationship? Did the manner he/she reacted give you greater insight, surprise you, confirm your believe, show you another side?
• What is it about yourself that your fiancé inspires you to want to change? What do you respect and want to make a part of your own life in future?
• Why have you chosen to marry? What is it about being married that is special?
• What will be different when you are married? In what way will you be different?
• What are your expectations of married life? What is “married life” to you?
• What is it you want your fiancé to know of your promises this day? What do you intend for your life together?
• What do you see as your future together? We’re not considering material gains here! What long term common goals, dreams or simple hopes do you have for the future?

8. When you finish, review what you’ve written and isolate phrases that you like. Then, put them together to form your vows. For example:

Not long after we met I realised I was no longer content with my solitary life. I found I was thinking of your chuckle and commitment to your family. I knew I wanted to share your life, your dreams and your future. I promise to share my life with you from now until the 12th of Never. I promise to incorporate humour into every day, to put your needs before my own. Together we’ll create a home and share our heritage with our children. All this I promise.

9. Do you wish to say your vows independently? Do you want to read them? Do you wish to be lead through them by me, your celebrant? However you wish, I recommend that I hold a copy of your vows so that you can refer discreetly if necessary.

10. Do you want these, your personal vows to follow on from the compulsory vow? Do you want to say your vows first, before the compulsory vow? Would you rather make your personal vows as a separate entity entirely to the legal vows?

© Cynthia Munro